BOSSES at intu Merry Hill have outlined how they plan to safely support the gradual reopening of non-essential retail stores at the centre - which will include giving staff PPE.

The plan drawn up to keep shoppers and staff safe, in line with Government guidelines, includes new social distancing and hygiene procedures and support to help brands safely reopen their stores from June 15.

Devised by a taskforce of experts from across intu, the plan includes limiting the number of people and cars allowed into the centre at a time, with some parking bays closed. There will also be a raft of other measures including one-way systems, floor stickers and staff training to ensure visitors stay socially distanced.

Enhanced hygiene regimes introduced at the start of the outbreak will continue, with more deep cleaning of key areas and touch points like escalators, toilets and keypads which has been been ongoing while the mall has remained open for access to pharmacies, supermarkets and banks during the lockdown period.

Hand sanitation stands will remain at entrances and other locations throughout the centre for visitors to use during their visit; and intu Merry Hill staff will be given personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe.

There will also queuing zones in the mall to ensure social distancing can be maintained inside stores.

Matthew Roberts, chief executive of intu, said: “Experts from across intu have formed a specialist taskforce who have considered everything we need to run intu Merry Hill and our others centres as safely as possible, with a series of central, common principles for the portfolio and individual plans for each centre. This includes working with our brand customers and providing them with all the support they need to reopen safely, as well as new social distancing and hygiene procedures to keep everyone who visits or works in our centres safe.

“We have introduced enhanced cleaning regimes and hand sanitation stands throughout every centre, measures to limit the number of visitors and ensure they stay socially distanced once inside and given our staff the protective equipment they need to stay safe.

“We know we cannot do this alone and everyone who visits our centres whether for work or to shop will play their part in keeping themselves and each other safe by following the official guidelines, and the instructions and safety information provided by our teams.

"Our teams have been working incredibly hard to keep our centres clean and safe during the lockdown and we are hugely grateful to them, and we would also like to thank our brand customers and visitors for all their cooperation and patience so far.”